1 Supplying good food With food and drink playing such an important role in European culture, the European Commission is striving to ensure that only the best quality and safest food reaches our dining tables. Food Quality and Safety is the fifth thematic priority (Priority 5) of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). By all accounts, it has been a great success. With a budget approaching 800 million, Priority 5 aimed to clarify the links between food and health. It supported research to help develop an environmentally friendly production and distribution chain able to deliver safer, healthier and more varied food to European citizens. This programme also aimed to control foodrelated risks relying in particular on biotechnology and the results of post-genomic research and to minimise the health risks associated with environmental changes. This thematic priority supported research into production methods and processes, the epidemiology of food-related diseases and allergies, the impact on health of new and functional foods, and 'traceability' processes throughout the production chain. It also backed research into methods of analysis, detection and control of chemical contaminants and pathogenic micro-organisms (such as viruses and parasites), the impact on human health of products from animals receiving various types of feed, environmental health risks linked to the food chain, as well as the impact of local ecological disasters and pollution on food safety. Priority 5 sought in the context of the European Research Area to forge an integrated scientific and technological basis for safer and healthier food distribution chains through the creation of pan-european Integrated Projects and Networks of Excellence. Such an approach ensures the pooling of knowhow and expertise across the EU that makes sure work is not duplicated and results are disseminated as widely as possible. This helps generate the necessary critical mass to propel Europe to the forefront of research and contribute towards the EU s goal of becoming the leading knowledge-based economy in the world. List of scientific areas addressed by FP6 s food quality and safety priority: Total food chain Epidemiology of food-related diseases and allergies Impact of food on health Traceability processes along the production chain Methods of analysis, detection and control Safer and more environmentally friendly production methods and technologies Impact of animal feed on human health Environmental health risks Issues addressed by Specific Support Actions (SSA) Achieving ERA objectives Promotion of SME participation Stimulating international co-operation Linking with candidate countries Supporting policy development Stimulating exploitation Contributing to the EU Strategy for Life Sciences and Biotechnology
2 Question of priorities The European Union carries out scientific research of common interest to its Member States. From 2007 until 2013, the European Commission will be funding this research at institutes, universities and companies across Europe through its forthcoming Seventh Framework Programme. If approved by Member States, FP7 will become the Union s most ambitious research programme ever, with a considerably higher annual budget than its predecessor. It aims to mobilise Europe s greatest resource: knowledge. FP7 has introduced a number of important innovations in the way in which European research is structured. It revolves around four specific programmes reflecting the knowledge-creation process: Co-operation, People, Ideas and Capacities. It is likely to continue the successful funding instruments launched under FP6, such as pan- European Networks of Excellence. For food quality and safety, this has meant a significant departure in approach with projects taking into account key aspects of food quality, safety and consumer concerns along the entire food production chain. The Co-operation Programme is divided into nine themes, including Food, agriculture and biotechnology. Towards a knowledge-based bio-economy The bio-economy economic sectors that derive their products from living matter is one of the oldest economic sectors known to humanity, and the life sciences and biotechnology are transforming it into one of the newest, the so-called knowledge-based bio-economy (KBBE). Food, agricultural and biotechnological research are important components of this emerging KBBE, which the EU is actively promoting. In fact, the life science and biotechnology are its main scientific drivers. Worth an estimated 1.6 trillion a year in Europe, the competitiveness of the bioeconomy can be enhanced through the creation and application of knowledge. This would also assist rural development and sustainability, ensure the long-term competitiveness of the European agriculture, food and chemical industries, and reduce climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions. For more information: conferences/2005/kbb/background_en.html Glossary of useful terms European collaborative research The EU seeks to bring together research teams from across Europe to develop new opportunities to improve the quality and safety of our food. Three funding mechanisms (sometimes called instruments ) are available in FP6: Integrated Projects (IP) to deliver knowledge for new products, processes or services, Networks of Excellence (NoE) designed to strengthen scientific and technological excellence in a particular research topic and Specific Targeted Research Projects (STREPS) which are smaller research projects designed to gain knowledge or demonstrate the viability of new technologies. Specific Support Actions (SSAs) previously known as accompanying measures, SSAs help to prepare and support new research activities. They can also aid inthe preparation of future Framework Programmes to ensure that they stimulate, encourage and facilitate the participation in European collaborative research efforts. Coordinated Actions (CAs) CAs cover the definition, organisation and management of joint initiatives that aim to avoid duplication of efforts in different Member States and seek to build synergies between existing national and other international initiatives so as to better integrate European research. International Co-operation Although European research has long been open to non-member States, FP6 has taken this a step further. In addition to the dedicated international co-operation instruments, organizations from third countries (i.e. those outside the EU that are not candidate or FP6 associated countries) can now become a partner in any consortium involved in EU-backed research.
3 KI EN-C Taking part Institutes, research bodies and industries across Europe and beyond are eligible to apply for Commission funding through the Framework Programme if they meet certain criteria. No more funds through FP6 s fifth thematic priority Food quality and safety are available. FP6 officially ends in 2006 and it will be replaced by FP7 in The Commission regularly publishes calls for proposals inviting interested research bodies to apply for funding in a particular area of specialisation. Prospective applicants must submit their application before a call for proposal s closing date. Comprehensive information on all aspects of FP6 is available at: fp6/index_en.html Towards FP7: Information on the outcome of calls for proposals under FP6 s Priority 5: To ensure transparency, teams of independent experts assess the submitted applications against a set of objective criteria on behalf of the European Commission. Successful candidates are duly informed of the funding they have been awarded to launch or continue their projects. Want to know more on life sciences and society? Biosociety site:
4 Call 1 Coordination Action NUTRI-SENEX An appetite for life Declining birth rates and longer life expectancy in developed countries mean that their populations are ageing at a rapid rate. Europe is the world s most affected region, with a projection of one in three Europeans over the age of 60 by the middle of this century. Many frail elderly will need to live in care homes, placing a growing economic burden on people of working age. This burden would be eased if people could stay healthy and active in later life adequate nutrition is known to be one of the most significant factors in a good quality of life for the elderly. Yet elderly people often become undernourished, a condition which leads to a more rapid decline in their health and well-being. A three-year Coordination Action, NUTRI-SENEX, (Improving the quality of life of elderly people by coordinating research into malnutrition of the elderly) will bring together the results of EU research programmes into better nutrition for old people. It will produce recommendations, survey health legislation, and develop guidelines for functional foods. The result will be greater awareness of the problems faced by the elderly and should indicate how best to meet their nutritional needs. In good taste As people grow older, their senses of taste and smell become less acute, especially if they suffer from chronic diseases. When they stop enjoying eating, they may also lose their appetite, lose weight and become more frail. One solution is to create special foods for the elderly, with heightened flavour and fortified with nutrients. A particular problem arises in care homes, where all residents tend to be served the same meals, regardless of personal or cultural preferences. In one study, nursing home residents given flavour-enhanced meals became hungrier and actually put on weight. Another problem in the nutrition of the elderly is fear of certain foods, often as the result of media coverage of health threats. A low-fat diet may be good for the heart, but if you only eat small meals, foods with high nutritional density may give you more energy. One aim of NUTRI-SENEX is to examine the one diet fits all concept in relation to the nutritional needs of older people. Research needs coordination The European Commission already supports several projects in this area and NUTRI-SENEX partners are prominent in this research field. Current EC projects include: HEALTHSENSE-CHOICE, looking at how factors such as changes in sensory perception affect what the elderly choose to eat; CROWNALIFE, investigating intestinal microorganisms in old people to help in designing food priorities and functional foods to benefit their intestinal flora; VITAGE, examining the role of fatsoluble vitamins in the diet and how this changes with ageing; and SENIOR FOOD, studying old people s attitudes to food, including delivered meals, convenience foods and snacks. This work is largely based in academic institutions, so it will be important to convey it to the community of the elderly and those caring for them. For this reason, NUTRI-SENEX has a strong communication element. From the very beginning, a website will publicise its aims and results. There will be workshops to explain to the health and care industries the guidelines the network will draw up for best practice in food preparation, as well as technology transfer and training workshops. The development of special food products for older people may prove to be an attractive and growing market for the food industry. The involvement of organisations which take care of the elderly will be important to transfer results to the end-users of this Coordination Action. The consortium will be open to new centres of excellence in the field to enable it to become the ERA s leading forum for research into the nutrition of elderly people.
5 Full title: Improving the quality of life of elderly people by coordinating research into malnutrition of the elderly Acronym: NUTRI-SENEX Contract n : CT Website: Project co-ordinator: Mark Pullinger, Chalex Research, EC Scientific Officer: Rosanna D Amario, rosanna.d LIST OF PARTNERS EU contribution: 1.01m European Communities, Reproduction is authorised provided the source is aknowledged Chalex Research Ltd. (UK) TTZ Bremerhaven (Germany) King's College London (UK) Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Germany) Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung (Germany) Justus-Liebig-Universität, Gießen (Germany) Sendatek SL (Spain) Universität Wien (Austria) Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association (UK) WBI Technology Ltd. (Ireland) Institutet för Livsmedel och Bioteknik (Sweden) Sabadell Gent Gran, Centre de Serveis, SA (Spain) NIZO Food Research (The Netherlands) University of Tartu (Estonia) Wageningen University (The Netherlands) Age Concern Torbay (UK) Leatherhead Food International (UK) Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) Technology Codes Ltd. (Ireland) University of Derby (UK) Deutsche See GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) University College Cork (Ireland) ASAP GmbH (Germany) Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (France) Frosta AG (Germany) MB Tecnica Ltd. (UK) Innovative Qualifikation in der Altenpflege (Germany) Findus R&D AB (Sweden) Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland) BIMBO SA (Spain) Institut postgraduálního vzde lávání ve zdravotnictví (Czech Republic) Unilever Nederland BV (The Netherlands) Food Quality and Safety - Call FP Food-1
6 Call 1 Integrated Project Grain Legumes Promoting grain legumes for European livestock Animals need both energy and protein in their food. BSE or mad cow disease, which led to the removal of animalderived protein from livestock feed, has highlighted the shortfall in vegetable protein sources. Europe imports 75% of its plant-derived protein, mostly as soyabean meal. For this reason, the European Union wants to encourage farmers to grow protein-rich legume crops like peas and faba beans for animal feeds. Such plants are currently under-used in European agriculture, despite having the advantage of reducing fertiliser and pesticide inputs, which is better for the environment. A large Integrated Project called Grain Legumes is combining the efforts of scientists from 18 countries in order to make legume crops more competitive for European agriculture, using the latest progress in genomics and ranging from plant improvement and crop management to feed processing. Tempting farmers Peas, faba beans, chickpeas, lupins, common beans and lentils are the main legume crops most suited to European agriculture. They offer farmers several environmental benefits. First, by fixing nitrogen due to natural symbiosis they reduce the need for industrial fertilisers. They increase the diversity in crop rotations, breaking the annual cycle of cereals and reducing the build-up of cereal weeds and pests and the corresponding need for pesticides. With all these benefits, why are farmers reluctant to grow them? Currently, they represent just 5% of Europe s arable land, compared with 15 to 30% elsewhere. Farmers complain that their yield is lower than that of other crops and is variable. Foliar diseases and root rots are largely to blame and pea-like plants tend to collapse under their own weight, making harvesting more difficult. The overriding aim of the Grain Legumes project is to provide tools to facilitate genetics and to develop new varieties of legumes alongside new ways of growing, treating, processing and using them. The strategy is to accelerate plant breeding by harnessing the progress in the description of legume genes and their genome organisation. The legume code Progress towards understanding the genetic code of legume crops lags behind other crops such as cereals. A species adopted as a genetic model for legumes, the barrel medick, is about to have its gene content fully sequenced and the partners in Grain Legumes will contribute to these international efforts. This will provide the gene order of this model species, which will in turn provide a blueprint to analyse the genetic organisation of legume crops. The project will also create a library of pea genes and mutants and will develop microarray methods to tell which genes are active in key cell pathways. These genomic tools will pave the way to identifying genes, or sets of genes responsible for important attributes such as plant shape, disease resistance, and content of protein or other constituents in seeds. This information will enable the monitoring of plant breeding and the identification of genetic diversity for breeders to work with. Meanwhile, agronomists and agro-ecologists will measure the impact of legume crops, in terms of agronomic and economic criteria, cost and energy use. Animal nutritionists will study their potential to improve animal feed and will test feed, that is processed using novel methods, on pigs and salmon to establish whether or not animal health can be improved, and to provide new sources of protein so urgently needed for fish farming. The project will develop links with other international programmes on legume genomics, to avoid duplicating effort. European plant breeding, food and animal feed companies will be kept informed of results and have access to these publicly funded activities through an interactive Technology Transfer Platform so that the results can be developed into real products. The predicted outcome should be legume crops that are more attractive for European agriculture and industry so that, in future, Europe s citizens and animals can look forward to eating more locally-grown grain legumes with the benefits of enhanced traceability and health.
7 LIST OF PARTNERS John Innes Centre (UK) Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (France) Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France) Wageningen University (the Netherlands) University of Bielefeld (Germany) European Association for Grain Legumes Research (France) Max-Planck Institut, Golm (Germany) Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (Spain) Génoscope (France) Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (Denmark) Genome Research Limited, Sanger Centre (UK) University of Frankfurt Biocentre (Germany) University of Dundee (UK) Institute of Genetics, BRC, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Hungary) ID Lelystad BV (The Netherlands) University of Córdoba (Spain) Technische Universität München (Germany) De Schothorst Institute of Animal Nutrition (Germany) University of Aarhus (Denmark) Swiss Federal Research Station Agroecology and Agriculture (Switzerland) Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (Belgium) IPK, Gatersleben (Germany) RISØ National Laboratory (Denmark) IVV, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (Germany) Nutreco Aquaculture Research Centre (Norway) Ecole Supérieure d Agriculture (France) Plant Research International (The Netherlands) University of Hannover (Germany) SIK, Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology (Sweden) Full title: New strategies to improve grain legumes for food and feed Acronym: Grain Legumes Contract n : CT Website: Project co-ordinator: Noel Ellis, John Innes Centre, EC Scientific Officer: Guillermo Cardon, EU contribution: 14.2m Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland) ITA of University of Vallalolid and University of León (Spain) Central Science Laboratory, York (UK) University of Sevilla (Spain) Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Porto (Portugal) Centre d Etudes et de Recherche sur l Economie et l Organisation (France) National Institute of Agricultural Botany, Cambridge (UK) Universidad Pública de Navarra (Spain) Confederation Espanola de Fabricantes de Alimentos Compuestos (Spain) Ceska Zemedelska Universita (Czech Republic) University of Reading (UK) Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (UK) UNIP Paris (France) Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute (Poland) Agricultural Research Organisation (Israel) AgroBioInstitute (Bulgaria) AEL, Associación Española de Leguminosas (Spain) University of York (UK) Murdoch University (Australia) Institute of Genetics, ABC, Gödöllõ (Hungary) CNR, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy) IPBO, Institute for Plant Biotechnology for Developing Countries (Belgium) Commonwealth Science and Industry Research Organisation, Division of Plant Industry (Australia) Anticipated participant: GenXPro GmbH (Germany) Technology Transfer Platform (to be created) Food Quality and Safety - Call FP Food-1
8 Call 1 Integrated Project LIPGENE Reducing the burden of obesity The population of Europe is growing older and fatter. By 2030, nearly a third of Europeans will be over 60. The European Council of Ministers has expressed grave concern about the social and economic impact of increasing obesity in Europe. In several countries, the cost of obesity is already 5% of total public health expenditure, largely due to the treatment of older people suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes and high levels of fat in the blood. These conditions characterise what is known as the metabolic syndrome which affects overweight people, generally in middle and old age. By 2010, some 31 million Europeans will require treatment for diabetes. But recent research shows that diet and exercise are better than drug treatment at preventing development of obesity-related diabetes. LIPGENE, a five-year Sixth Framework Programme Integrated Project, is helping to reduce the economic and social burden of obesity by assessing the potential for diet-based prevention of metabolic syndrome. It involves 21 partners from ten countries, including scientists, economists and business. Food For thought One major scientific aspect of LIPGENE is to find out whether our genes modify the way diet affects our body. Can everyone benefit from a better diet, or are some people at risk whatever they eat? Using the data from a population-based study of people, scientists will search for genes that predispose us to suffering ill effects from obesity. Are some people more sensitive to certain types of fat? Some fats, such as saturated fats, enhance the ill effects of being overweight. Other types of fat, notably the n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids which are found mainly in fish oil, are healthier. LIPGENE will carry out a large study on what happens to those people at risk of metabolic syndrome if they change the fats in their diet. How much of an improvement is possible using diet alone? Do the genes associated with metabolic syndrome make a difference? The scientists will also study key mechanisms in fat and muscle tissue to find out how these genes work. If some fats are better than others, why not use modern technology to modify the fat composition of food? LIPGENE scientists will engineer genes from marine algae into linseed plants so as to produce oil with a higher composition of healthy fatty acids. Another group will try to improve the composition of milk and meat fats by changing animal diets. Following this research, the project will produce a range of demonstration foods containing the improved fats, such as milk, cheese, poultry meat and margarine. This consumer test will be addressed not just to the general public, but also to companies which might be willing to develop such products. A balanced approach On the social and economic front, LIPGENE will assess the true European cost of obesity-related health problems and weigh up both the costs and benefits of introducing modified fats in food. It is crucial to ask how the general public feels about dealing with obesity in this way. Are we happy to change the nutritional content of foods? Are genetically modified foods acceptable in this context? Equally, how do Europeans feel about accessing the information in our genes which tells us whether we are likely to suffer complications from being overweight? LIPGENE will survey opinions of metabolic syndrome sufferers across Europe to find out whether introducing these technologies would be popular, effective and would have a high cost benefit. The consortium will work hard to publicise all its findings and hopes to stimulate debate on the future of food policy at the highest level.
9 LIST OF PARTNERS Full title: Diet, genomics and the metabolic syndrome: An integrated nutrition, agro-food, social and economic analysis Acronym: LIPGENE Contract n : CT Website: Project co-ordinator: Michael J. Gibney, Trinity College Dublin, Helen Roche, Trinity College Dublin, EC Scientific Officer: Rosanna D Amario, rosanna.d Alkmini Katsada, EU contribution: 12.5m Trinity College, Dublin (Ireland) Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition, Centre for Dairy Research and Animal Nutrition Science Research Unit, University of Reading (UK) University of Oslo (Norway) University of Bergen (Norway) Units 476 and 557, INSERM (France) Maastricht University (the Netherlands) Hospital Universitario Reina Sofía, University of Córdoba (Spain) The Jagiellonian University Medical College (Poland) Uppsala University (Sweden) Unilever Bestfoods (The Netherlands) BASF Plant Science GmbH (Germany) University of York (UK) Rothamsted Research (UK) Rowett Research Institute (UK) MTT Agrifood Finland (UK) Clermont-Theix Research Centre and UR-1154 Châtenay-Malabry, Institut national de la recherche agronomique (France) University of Ulster (UK) University of Porto (Portugal) British Nutrition Foundation (UK) LMC International (UK) Hitachi Europe Ltd (Ireland) Food Quality and Safety - Call FP Food-1
10 Call 1 Integrated Project QUALITY LOW INPUT FOOD Low input for high returns As recognised by the European Action Plan on Organic Food and Farming, organic food has experienced a boom over the last decade. But farmers and the whole supply chain still have some way to go. An Integrated Project under the European Commission s Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) brings together European research on a wide range of low-input and organic farming research, from consumer perceptions of quality to individual activities on the farm. The overall objective of the project is to improve the quality and safety of organic and low-input food, whilst reducing its cost to the consumer. By involving the entire supply chain from farmer to shopper it hopes to align producers better with the expectations of their markets. According to the FP6 project, Quality Low Input Food, the research challenges are: to improve the match between what producers aim at, and what consumers want; to increase cost efficiency (but not at the expense of quality, or food safety); and to draw all possible environmental and energy use benefits from organic and low-input farming. The project will address these issues by rigorously investigating consumer behaviour, testing the safety and quality of organic and low-input food, and by applying Europe s research expertise to improving the cost-effectiveness of low-input production. The project involves 31 partners eight are European companies, including six SMEs, involved in the production, processing and quality assurance of organic food. What do consumers want? The first phase of the project is to ask consumers what they want from low-input foods, to measure what they actually buy, and to use the results in planning the research. To complement this, the project will compare the nutritional value and quality of low-input and conventional products. This will be followed by a carefully programmed series of studies, among them a comparison of the nutritional content of milk, and a test to demonstrate the effect of fungicide residues on animal fertility. The risk of pathogens reaching food from animal manure fertilisers, and of fungal toxins on organic grain will be quantified, and solutions sought. The research will help identify points in the low-input food chain where such hazards occur, and the new control measures will be disseminated to professionals in the food industry. It is planned to follow up the first results with studies focused on consumer health. What can producers do? The research continues back down the chain to the primary production systems themselves. There will be focused research packages in the cereal, vegetable, dairy, poultry and pork sectors. Scientists will try out novel techniques to produce better and cheaper products in line with consumer requirements. For example, agronomists will test different weeding methods and crop rotations, while livestock experts will assess whether housing animals differently can reduce their worm burden. Each year of the project, the partners will hold a major colloquium to present their results to user- and consumer-representatives. The colloquium will be used to measure progress towards the project s overall goal of improving quality, ensuring safety, and reducing cost along the European organic and low-input food supply chains.
11 Full title: Improving quality and safety and reduction of costs in the European organic and low input supply chain Acronym: QUALITY LOW INPUT FOOD Contract n : CT Website: Project co-ordinator: Carlo Leifert, University of Newcastle upon Tyne EC Scientific Officer: Daniele Tissot, LIST OF PARTNERS EU contribution: 12.4m University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) Forschungsinstitut für Biologischen Landbau (Switzerland) Danish Research Centre for Organic Farming/ Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences (Denmark) Praktijkondersoek Veehouderij BV (The Netherlands) University of Kassel (Germany) Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association (UK) University of Wales, Aberystwyth (UK) Stichting Fenomenologische Natuurwetenschap: Louis Bolk Institut (The Netherlands) Alma Matur Studiorum Universitat di Bologna (Italy) Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (France) Warsaw Agricultural University (Poland) University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna (Austria) Universidad de Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro (Portugal) Technological Educational Institute of Crete (Crete) Vysoka Skola Chemickotechnologicka v Praze, Prague (Czech Republic) Bar Ilan University (Finland) University of Helsinki (Finland) TUBITAK-Marmara Research Centre (Turkey) University of Bonn (Germany) University of Basel (Switzerland) Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (UK) Universitat Hohenheim (Germany) Universita Politecnica della Marche (Italy) Granarolo SPA (Italy) Roger White and Associates (UK) Guaber SPA (Italy) Anidral SRL (Italy) Gilchesters Organics (UK) Agro Eco Consultancy B.V. (The Netherlands) Swiss Federal Dairy Research Station, Liebefeld (Switzerland) Groupe de Recherche et d Echanges Technologiques (France) Food Quality and Safety - Call FP Food-1
12 Call 1 Integrated Project SAFE FOODS Boost for consumer confidence Risk analysis has three main components: risk assessment (scientific advice and information analysis), risk management (regulation and control), and risk communication. For consumers to have confidence in the food they buy and eat, they need access to all the important information and must put trust in risk analysis as a viable procedure ensuring that the food is safe and that the consumer can make her/his informed choice. Increased transparency in risk analysis can help to solve the problem of a lack of consumer confidence in the safety of food, and restore trust. Consumer trust in the food chain has declined as the result of a number of highly publicised scares like BSE, but is now improving in some European countries thanks to the hard work of all parties involved in risk analyses. If risk analysis could be applied to new processes in food production, such as changes in breeding programmes, potential dangers could be spotted before they become serious. It is vital not only to carry out such checks, but to take public opinion into account when accepting their conclusions, to avoid food scares in the future. A new Integrated Project within the Sixth Framework Programme, SAFE FOODS (Promoting Food Safety Through a New Integrated Risk Analysis Approach) seeks to refine risk analysis practice for food safety. Lasting four years, it combines the skills of natural and social scientists, stockbreeders, food producers, and regulatory bodies, coming from 33 institutions, not only in Europe but from other continents, too. Coherent research The tenor of the research is to design new and effective procedures for analysing risks for foods produced by different production practices (high- or low-input systems) and with different breeding technologies (traditional, molecular, and genetic modification). New systems will be compared with traditional methods to see if they introduce greater risks; for example, high-input, intensive animal rearing will be contrasted with low-input traditional methods. Projects will seek ways to detect emerging risks associated with food and feed production, and to make quantitative assessments of the risk of human exposure to mixtures of food contaminants. The potential role of regulatory organisations in managing risks in the food chain will be explored and, ultimately, a new integrated risk analysis approach for foods will be designed. A wide range of concerned organisations food producers, plant and animal breeders, and national and international organisations associated with risk analysis will all test this new framework. More confidence in food chain The project acknowledges the importance of consumer confidence for the societal acceptability of effective risk analysis practices in foods. In fact, an entire work package is dedicated to consumer confidence in risk analysis practices regarding novel and conventional foods. The public debate on GM foods has shown that there is a good deal of public information and education needed. Consumer organisations will be asked to trial the risk analysis approach developed in the research, and due publicity will be given to the results. This Integrated Project will put assessing risks associated with food production on a firm basis with transparent, effective and balanced procedures. These will form the foundation for further development of this novel approach to food safety. A clear demonstration of the safety of European food, breeding and rearing practices will make them more competitive in world markets. The inclusion in the project of researchers from South Africa and China will give it an international direction so that the risk analysis strategies developed could be applied globally. The net result will be to restore consumer confidence in the safety of European food, both within our borders and on a global scale.
13 Full title: Promoting food safety through a new integrated risk analysis approach for foods Acronym: SAFE FOODS Contract n : CT Website: Project co-ordinator: Harry Kuiper & Hans Marvin RIKILT Institute for Food Safety, EC Scientific Officer: Dyanne Bennink, LIST OF PARTNERS DLO-RIKILT - Institute of Food Safety (The Netherlands) Scottish Crop Research Institute (United Kingdom) Technical University Munich (Germany) University of Kuopio (Finland) Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute (Poland) National Institute of Health (Italy) Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (South Africa) Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland Research Institution (United Kingdom) Institute of Crop Germplasm Resources (China) National Food Centre (Ireland) Catholic University of Piacenza (Italy) Latvian Food Centre (Latvia) Central Food Research Institute (Hungary) National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (The Netherlands) Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Germany) Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (Switzerland) National Food Administration (Sweden) EU contribution: 11.4m National Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety (China) Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research (Denmark) National Institute of Public Health (Czech Republic) Wageningen University (The Netherlands) Institute of Food Research (United Kingdom) Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, (Denmark) DIALOGIK GmbH (Germany) Agricultural University of Athens (Greece) University of Sussex (United Kingdom) University of Maastricht (The Netherlands) University of Göteborg (Sweden) King s College London (United Kingdom) Institute of Sociology at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Hungary) Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS), University of Rome (Italy) European Food Information Council (Belgium) Institute for Risk Assessment Science, University of Utrecht (The Netherlands) Food Quality and Safety - Call FP Food-1
14 Call 1 Integrated Project SEAFOODplus Focus on fish The benefits to human health of eating a reasonable quantity of seafood regularly are well known and have led to an increase in fish farming to meet market demand. The EU wants to maintain the quality and safety of farmed and caught seafood, tailor products to give consumers what they want, and encourage them to eat a greater variety of fish. Consequently, it has set up SEAFOODplus, a largescale integrated project to study the production, marketing and consumption of seafood, and its effects on health. Research institutes and organisations from all over Europe are working on the programme, which could last up to five years, and is initially being divided up into three 18- month reporting periods. Six main themes The programme is structured around the following six main themes: 1. Seafood and nutrition: Doctors recommend fish as part of a healthy diet because the polyunsaturated fatty acids it contains can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. The project will also investigate the possible role fish consumption could have in helping to prevent other chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, irregular heartbeat, along with its role in younger people s health, and in combating obesity, post-natal depression and brittle bones. 2. Consumer health: Although many consumers already know that seafood is good for them, the amount they eat varies widely. The project will study attitudes and preferences in detail, and the results will be used to develop new seafood products which offer health benefits and are able to meet consumer expectations. This should encourage more people to eat more fish and improve their health. 3. Safety and risk/benefit analysis: Shellfish can sometimes cause food poisoning or histamine reactions. SEAFOODplus will develop standard universal methods to detect certain viruses in susceptible shellfish, and develop earlywarning systems for viral contamination. These risks will be balanced against health benefits and the results will be publicised. 4. New seafood consumer products: Sources of wild fish are limited and some stocks are under threat, while fishing and fish farming produce by-products that are not being used to their full potential. The aim is to extract compounds beneficial to health from such sources and develop them into new functional food products. The approach taken will also enhance the consumer appeal of fish products while identifying new types of convenience and functional foods. 5. Aquaculture: Intensively reared fish can create problems of pollution and product quality. The public is concerned that farmed fish should be well treated and that wild species are not adversely affected. SEAFOODplus will study what goes into producing high-quality fish products, including genetics and what the fish are fed. It will establish a framework for farming European fish to a standard that is acceptable on quality, ethical, and environmental grounds. 6. Traceability: Consumers want reassurance about where their food comes from, that the environment has not been damaged in its production, and that it is safe to eat. Across all the research projects, a systematic approach will be developed to ensure that every fish on the European market can always be traced back to its source. A standard vocabulary of terms will be devised and integrated into a traceability system which will be tested on several seafood chains and validated for wider use. A balanced approach The strategy of the SEAFOODplus programme is to promote the production of better, safer fish of all kinds, and to increase their consumption across Europe. In the long term, it is expected that through increased consumption and awareness a quantifiable improvement in human health can be recorded.
15 Full title: Health promoting, safe seafood of high quality in a consumer driven fork-to-farm concept Acronym: SEAFOODplus Contract n : CT Website: LIST OF PARTNERS Danish Institute for Fisheries Research (Denmark) Norwegian Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (Norway) Institut Français de Recherche pour l'exploitation de la Mer (France) Netherlands Institute for Fisheries Research (The Netherlands) Institute of Food Research (UK) SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture (Norway) AZTI Fundazioa (Spain) Wageningen University (The Netherlands) Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories (Iceland) Aarhus School of Business (Denmark) Consejo Superior De Investigaciones Científicas (Spain) Ghent University (Belgium) TNO Nutrition and Food Research (The Netherlands) Friedrich-Schiler-University of Jena (Germany) University College Cork (Ireland) National Research Institute on Agriculture and Fisheries (Portugal) Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) University of St. Andrews (UK) Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture (UK) Landspitali-University Hospital & University of Iceland (Iceland) Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italy) Federal Research Centre for Fisheries (Germany) Göteborg University (Sweden) University of Tromsø (Norway) Universitat de Barcelona (Spain) Wageningen Centre for Food Sciences (The Netherlands) University of Coruna (Spain) University of Glasgow (UK) Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway) Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (Denmark) Plant Research International (The Netherlands) University of Navarra (Spain) University College Dublin (Ireland) Ecole Nationale d'ingénieurs des Techniques des Industries Agricole et Alimentaires (France) University of Helsinki (Finland) Institute for Animal Science and Health (The Netherlands) Université de Bretagne Sud - GIS PROGEBIO (France) Moere Research (Norway) Academisch Ziekenhuis bij de Universiteit van Amsterdam (The Netherlands) Maastricht University (The Netherlands) Project co-ordinator: Torger Borresen, Danish Institute for Fisheries Research, EC Scientific Officer: Ciaran Mangan, EU contribution: 14.4m Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (Spain) Matforsk-Norwegian Food Research Institute (Norway) University of West Brittany (France) TEAGAS (Ireland) Statens Serum Institut (Denmark) AquaNet (UBC) (Canada) Double Delta Kereskedelmi Termelo es Kutatasfejlestesi Beteti Tarsasag (Hungary) Cannes Aquaculture E.A.R.L (France) Coopérative de traitement des produits de la Pêche (France) Muséum National d Histoire Naturelle (France) University of La Rochelle (France) Unilever UK Central Resources Ltd (UK) Salica Industria Alimentaria, S.A. (Spain) Association Européenne des Producteurs de Mollusques (Belgium) Primex ehf (Iceland) Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (France) Marinova aps (Denmark) National Institute of Public Health and The Environment (The Netherlands) Johnson Seafarms Ltd (UK) Fish Farm Yerseke (The Netherlands) BioMar AS (Denmark) Dønna Oppdrettsmiljø AS (Norway) Royal Greenland Seafood A/S (Denmark) International organisation for the development of fisheries in Eastern and Central Europe EUROFISH (Denmark) Fjord Seafood ASA (Norway) Trace Tracker Innovation AS (Norway) Albacora S.A. (Spain) GEASA, Gestión Empresarial Alavesa, S.A. (Spain) Institute of Ichthyobiology and Aquaculture of the Polish Academy of Science (Poland) EWOS Innovation (UK) Fish Farm Krol Jerzy (Poland) Food Quality and Safety - Call FP Food-1
16 Call 1 Integrated Project WELFARE QUALITY Improving animal welfare and satisfying consumers In the past, the main focus of animal production and related research in Europe was on ensuring an adequate food supply at a reasonable price, which led to increasingly intensive husbandry methods. When prompted, consumers in different EU Member States expressed grave reservations about how farm animals are kept. Problems such as BSE or swine fever increase their concerns and emphasise the fact that you are what you eat. A growing number of consumers today want to be reassured that the animals that produce their food have been raised under humane conditions and with proper regard for the environment. Animal welfare has become both an integral part of the concept of food quality and a priority theme in the EU s Sixth Framework Programme. A major new project, Integration of Animal Welfare in the Food Quality Chain (WELFARE QUALITY), aims to improve food quality by ensuring the welfare of farm animals. It will create standards for assessing the welfare of farm animals throughout Europe and develop practical strategies to improve it. A product information system will be drawn up to assure consumers that their food has been produced according to ethically sound procedures. Forty organisations and university departments throughout Europe will contribute to this five-year Integrated Project, using expertise from many areas of science. Life on the farm WELFARE QUALITY will investigate ways to improve the welfare of different species on the farm, for example by relieving the boredom and anti-social behaviour of pigs and chickens reared in groups. Breeding programmes will play a part in this improvement, as will better contact between humans and animals, and provision of a more stimulating environment that allows animals to express their natural behaviour. Innovative housing design is required to significantly improve animal welfare. Reducing stress, anxiety and boredom will not only enhance the animals health and welfare but will also lead to better product quality. The effect of welfare improvements will be interpreted through performance measures based on the actual health, physiology, behaviour and disease resistance of animals. Some methods of monitoring these conditions are already in use, and more will be developed. A continuous information loop will be established in which the results of the monitoring will be used to suggest practical welfare improvements. These are fed back to the farmer who can then take up the recommendations. The benefits to animal welfare should show up in future monitoring, the goal being to develop a European standard for assessing the welfare of animals on farms. Informed consumers Shoppers want more and more details about the source and quality of the food they buy. The project will analyse consumer concerns about animal welfare and find out what information they want on their packaging. In this fork-to-farm approach, clear marketing and profiling of products will allow consumers to make an informed choice and to support animal welfare policies. A transparent and standardised information system will be vital to countries joining the EU to help them meet the requirements of European markets. Europe is leading the World Trade Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in its commitment to introdu-cing animal welfare into the conditions for international trade. WELFARE QUALITY will set up a dialogue between the stakeholders, including the public, academia, industry, welfare organisations and government, using traditional publications, school visits and the internet. Education and training will also be offered to key players along the supply chain.
17 Full title: Integration of animal welfare in the food quality chain: From public concern to improved welfare and transparent quality Acronym: WELFARE QUALITY Contract n : CT Website: Project co-ordinator: Harry Blokhuis, ID-Lelystad, EC Scientific Officer: John Claxton, LIST OF PARTNERS ID-Lelystad (The Netherlands) University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (Austria) Veterinary University of Vienna (Austria) Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) Vyzkumny Ustav Zivocisne Wyroby (Czech Republic) University of Kassel (Germany) Danish Institute of Agricultural Science (Denmark) Royal veterinary and agricultural university (Denmark) Institut de recerca i tecnologlia agroalimentaries (Spain) Universita Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain) Institut Technique du Porc (France) Coopérative Interdepartementale Aube, Loiret, Yonne, Nievre (France) Institut national de la recherche agronomique (France) Institut de L Elevage (France) L institut Supérieur d Agriculture Lille (France) France Limousin Selection (France) Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6 (France) University of Toulouse le Mirail (France) Teagasc (Ireland) EU contribution: 14.4m Università di Milano (Italy) Università degli Studi di Parma (Italy) Università degli Studi di Padova (Italy) Università di Pisa (Italy) Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali SpA (Italy) Research Institute for Animal Husbandry (The Netherlands) Wageningen University (The Netherlands) National Institute for Consumer Research (Norway) Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute (Norway) Agricultural University of Norway (Norway) Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet (Sweden) Göteborg University (Sweden) University of Lund (Sweden) Stockholm University (Sweden) University of Wales Cardiff (UK) University of Exeter (UK) Roslin Institute (UK) Scottish Agricultural College (UK) University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) University of Bristol (UK) University of Reading (UK) Food Quality and Safety - Call FP Food-1
18 Call 1 Specific Support Action BioProducts 4 Food A boost for biotech Biotechnology has a huge potential to improve the quality and safety of food. Crops could be designed to produce more nutritious food, with lower chemical and energy inputs. Microbe or plant cells can become factories producing new bioactive chemicals. Genes could help trace the constituents of food to their origins. The know-ledge is out there, but generating real technology which is accessible to farmers and/or consumers depends on companies being able to translate new research into marketable products. The crucial link between scientists and biotech companies is the focus of the BioProducts 4 Food project, a Specific Support Action currently being carried out by Rothamsted Research in the UK. Research into action BioProducts 4 Food links biotech companies from Europe and the wider world with scientists carrying out research on plant and microbial biotechnology within the European Commission s Framework Programmes. It represents continued development of a project that has been running since 2000, funded initially by the Fifth Framework Programme and now being supported for a further three years under FP6. It holds an annual technology transfer meeting, known as the Rothamsted International BioMarket, and operates a networking website. After four years, the BioMarket has become a wellestablished event in the biotech calendar. During the three-day meetings, EC-funded scientists are invited to present their research in a Discoveries Showcase, while companies and researchers can publicise themselves and their products on posters. Financiers and service providers to the biotech industry also attend. Delegates can arrange one-toone meetings with potential partners, an approach which has been received enthusiastically in the past. BioProducts 4 Food hopes and plans for 350 individual partner meetings at each event. Now there are ambitious aims for widening international coverage a target of 250 delegates from at least 20 countries (including 15 EU Member States) at the 2006 event. A panel of food industry representatives will be asked to advise on industry sectors that may have been overlooked in the network. On-line discoveries The BioProducts 4 Food website (www.bioproduct.info) offers a year-round networking arena. It has a database of more than 350 organisations from 50 countries involved in translating biotechnology into real improvements in food production, with small and medium-sized European companies well represented. Organisers hope to raise this figure to over in the next three years. Participants can search the database for organisations with similar expertise, and receive e- mail alerts about new organisations meeting their search criteria. The list of subjects is broad, ran-ging from biocontrol agents to biopolymers. This year, the website will be enhanced to include a database of new discoveries. Scientists will be able to enter their results in the database, having taken advice on how best to protect their findings. There should be 50 new discoveries on the website by the end of 2004, further promoting the BioProducts website as a live forum for exchange of innovative ideas between scientists and businessmen. The BioProducts 4 Food project currently disseminates European food-related biotechnology research to companies in EU Member States, Accession States, Associated States and various other countries including China, Australia and South Africa. What better way to ensure that research investment is working for society?
19 Full title: Disseminating the results of EC funded research into food quality and safety to facilitate their transfer and exploitation into new products and processes to improve European health and well-being Acronym: BioProducts 4 Food Contract n : CT Website: Project co-ordinator: Stephen James, Rothamsted Research Ltd, EC Scientific Officer: Waldemar Kutt, LIST OF PARTNERS EU contribution: 273,000 Rothamsted Research Ltd (UK) Food Quality and Safety - Call FP Food-1
20 Call 1 Specific Support Action CEAF Collaboration is flowering in Europe The candidate countries in central Europe have extensive experience and scientific expertise in cultivating fruit and flowers. Leading-edge skills include biotechnology, plant protection and environmental sustainability. They also have a more traditional know-how about bee-keeping, plant pollination, fruit tree research, and fruit processing. Nevertheless, the pursuit of scientific programmes has been hampered by a shortage of funding. So collaboration by research institutes in these countries could be mutually beneficial if they were to participate in European research in the Food Quality and Safety priority of the EU s Sixth Framework Programme. However, Central European countries have little or no experience of how the European research community works, how to identify available support, and how to submit project proposals. The answer is to mobilise help from existing Member States through a new European Commission Specific Support Action, Stimulating participation of Central European countries in the Agri-Food Sector in FP6 (CEAF). It involves experts from the European Commission and the Netherlands, and research institutes and SMEs in the flower and fruit sector from Poland, Slovakia, Latvia, Hungary and Estonia. Fruitful workshops The first step is to survey the sector in each country and list the main players and their capabilities. They will then be invited to workshops, one in each of the candidate countries, to help them develop their skills in preparing research proposals that fit in with the objectives of FP6. Experts from the European Commission and Member States will be available to inform researchers about how the new Framework Programme instruments Integrated Programmes, Networks of Excellence and other EU research structures work, and to help them how to find suitable partners. About 40 delegates will be carefully selected to attend each workshop, drawn from universities, research institutes, governmental organisations and SMEs in the agri-food sector. The event will cover the details of consortium building, project management, legal and financial issues, and provide information on current and planned research projects. At the end of each workshop, feedback from participants on the training measures will help to refine future programmes. The workshops will provide an opportunity for participants to learn new skills and make fruitful contacts for future co-operation. A second series of more practical workshops on project proposals already under development will also be held. They will be a focus for advice on the research content, intellectual property rights, and suitability for a given programme or network. They will also cover proposal writing and project management. Information is the key To be successful, CEAF will need to raise awareness of its activities in its target groups in central Europe. It will promote the workshops to them and maintain an interactive network amongst all collaborating partners. A website will be created containing all the relevant information; it will be major platform for the dissemination of project results. This will be supported by promotional publications. A database of central European research capabilities and facilities will be compiled from the first targeting exercise for the workshops, and will be published on a CD-ROM. The progression over two years from general training, through consultancy on possible projects and partner search to focused help for securing funding and running projects, should lead to positive participation by central European researchers and SMEs in FP6. The exchange of experience and expertise between partners will help to build bridges and better integrate central Europe into the European Research Area.